NASA BOMBSHELL: Alien planet ‘SIMILAR to Earth’ found outside solar system

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The planet, named HD 21749b, was discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and is around 53 light years from Earth. But the most interesting thing about the planet is its likeness to Earth. The star is a “sub-Neptune” and almost three times bigger than Earth making it more likely to to be gaseous rather than rocky.

Discovery team leader Diana Dragomir told MIT News: "We think this planet wouldn't be as gaseous as Neptune or Uranus, which are mostly hydrogen and really puffy.

“The planet probably has an atmosphere composed of heavy molecules, such as water.

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“We know a lot about atmospheres of hot planets, but because it’s very hard to find small planets that orbit farther from their stars, and are therefore cooler, we haven’t been able to learn much about these smaller, cooler planets.

“But here we were lucky, and caught this one, and can now study it in more detail.”

The planet is the first to be found with the longest orbit by TESS.

HD 21749b journeys around its star in 36 days.

Space expert Corey S Powell told Forbes: “What’s most interesting about HD 21749b is precisely that it is not strange!

“It’s just a little larger and hotter than Earth, making it a prime test subject.

“Truly Earthlike planets will be harder to study.

“This planet will offer a great learning experience in how to find and examine a true Earth twin.

“It will probably also teach us a lot about which kinds of worlds really could support life, and which ones turn out to be harsh and inhospitable on closer examination.

“There is no equivalent planet in our solar system, and we don’t know much about what conditions might be like on such a world. Now we can find out!”

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